Steven Spielberg has signed on to direct Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep in The Post, a true-life drama revolving around the Pentagon Papers.
First published by activist and former United States military analyst Daniel Ellsberg circa 1971, the documents ultimately exposed the classified truth about the Vietnam War and America’s dubious involvement in it. What followed was a massive public fallout in which the country’s military tactics were called into question, and Ellsberg’s whistleblowing proved instrumental in changing public perception of the Vietnam War forevermore.
Another two figures who helped bring the Pentagon Papers to light were Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and publisher Katharine Graham, and Deadline has confirmation that Tom Hanks (Captain Phillips, Sully) will play the former, with Meryl Streep (Florence Foster Jenkins) taking point as the latter. Liz Hannah, meanwhile, is the brains behind the screenplay, and Fox will no doubt be keen to place The Post on the fast-track given the pedigree attached.
Much like the actual endeavor itself, in Hollywood, investigative journalism has proven risky and rewarding. Two years ago, director Tom McCarthy engineered a bona fide Oscar-winner in Spotlight, which recounted the powerful true story behind the Boston Globe’s investigation into the Catholic Church. McCarthy’s engrossing drama is admittedly a different act to follow, but given the talent on board – Hanks and Streep have never actually shared the screen together, but have amassed a staggering array of awards between them – we’re cautiously optimistic that Steven Spielberg can strike gold with a topic that is just as timely now than ever before.
Beyond The Post, the illustrious filmmaker has Ready Player One in post-production ahead of its 2018 release, while Indiana Jones 5 is reportedly gearing up to shoot very soon indeed. Tom Hanks, on the other hand, can next be seen in The Circle opposite Emma Watson, while Meryl Streep is one of the many stars on board for Mary Poppins Returns, which just recently offered a peek at Emily Blunt as the magical nanny. Look for that one to bow on December 25th, 2018.